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WCM-Q’s new cohort of future doctors completes orientation program

The Class of 2025 donned their white coats and stethoscopes.
The Class of 2025 donned their white coats and stethoscopes.

Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) welcomed its new intake of students to the college with a three-day orientation program as they begin training to become the next generation of physician-scientists.

While last year’s orientation program was held entirely online due to lockdown measures, this year students were permitted to attend in person, though with careful protective protocols in place to mitigate any risk of transmission. The students, all of whom are double-vaccinated, were split into small groups, observed strict physical distancing measures, wore masks and were required to show their green Ehteraz status whenever they entered the WCM-Q building.

This year’s intake brings 21 new students to the college’s Foundation Program, 18 of whom are Qatari nationals. There are 43 new pre-medical students, 21 of whom have been promoted from last year’s Foundation Program, while 22 are new arrivals. There are also 45 new medical students, 43 of whom were promoted after completing the two-year pre-medical curriculum at WCM-Q, with 2 new arrivals.Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar.

Combined, the two-year pre-medical curriculum and four-year medical curriculum form the WCM-Q integrated Six-Year Medical Program. The Foundation Program provides intensive instruction in the basic sciences, English and mathematics to prepare students for the rigors of the Six-Year Medical Program.

The incoming cohort is truly global, comprising citizens of 19 different countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, India, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Korea, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, Turkey, and the United States Of America.

The orientation programs began with welcome addresses, followed by overviews of the curricula. There were also sessions on student support, navigating the learning environment, cultural competence in healthcare, and WCM-Q policies. The Foundation and pre-medical students had sessions on academic integrity and student wellness, undertook a reading project, and participated in ice-breaker activities to get to know one another. Other sessions included information about academic integrity, student health and wellness services, legal issues in the practice of medicine, study skills and technology tools.

Reem Al-Janahi receives the Ibn Sina pin from Dr. James Roach.

For the students beginning the two-year pre-medical curriculum, the orientation program concluded with the Ibn Sina pinning ceremony, named after the great Persian polymath of the Islamic Golden Age, regarded by many as the father of modern medicine. Meanwhile, orientation for the students entering the four-year medical curriculum concluded with the White Coat Ceremony, at which they received the white coats and stethoscopes that are the hallmarks of their chosen profession.

The orientation programs, coordinated by WCM-Q’s Division of Student Affairs, are crafted to help students quickly become familiar with the curriculum, facilities, people and processes of the college so that they can hit the ground running and immediately begin learning the material they need to understand to enjoy good progress with their studies.

Student Reem Al-Janahi is beginning the Six-Year Medical Program this semester, having completed the Foundation Program in the last academic year. She said: “I am very excited about starting the first year of the pre-medical curriculum and I feel confident I will be able to manage my studies because the Foundation Program prepared us all so well. I can’t wait to get started.”

Deema Al-Abdullah receives her white coat and stethoscope from Dr. Javaid Sheikh and Dr. Thurayya Arayssi.